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Danny Kofke with his family (from left: Tracy Kofke, Ava Kofke and Ella Kofke)
Median starting pay: $35,100
Median mid-career pay: $54,900

It's no surprise that education isn't exactly a high-paying career. And with budget cuts and a struggling economy, paying the bills has become even harder for teachers and educators.

Danny Kofke graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in elementary education and now works as a special ed teacher at an elementary school in Jefferson, Ga. On top of his low salary, he's been forced to take unpaid furlough days.

But the satisfaction of helping students learn and grow pays off for many teachers.

"I have the power to teach and help my students acquire skills and accomplish tasks they could not before -- that is a huge reward," said Kofke, who teaches students with severe mental disabilities. "I may never drive a BMW or live in a 5,000 square foot house, but I get to go to a job that I love and that, to me, is priceless."

NEXT: Culinary Arts
Last updated January 14 2011: 2:40 PM ET
Source: PayScale.com
How PayScale.com determined salary: Survey includes national median starting and mid-career salary for 120 popular bachelor degree majors. Salaries are for graduates who received bachelor's degrees from schools in the United States who work full time in the United States. majors. Salaries are for graduates who received bachelor's degrees from schools in the United States who work full time in the United States.
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